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Damn the man, save the Empire… (by Tina)

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Even after a year of residency in Mount Pleasant, I continue to find little gems that make me love it just a bit more each day. There’s something about Mount Pleasant that reminds me a little bit of the town I grew up in. Demographics aside, Main Street in my hometown is actually not all that different from Mount Pleasant Street. A walk through town will find you; a random antique shop or two, some pizza joints, a dollar store, two beauty salons, the town library, a couple of liquor stores and Chinese food places, a handful of Laundromats, a whole slew of “townie bars”, a deli, a couple of banks, a travel agency, and before Blockbuster landed around the corner – an awesome little independent movie store called The Video Connoisseur.

My most recent stroll down Main Street led me to Lamont Video, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it video store located at 3171 Mount Pleasant St. There is a sign, right next to Melissa Beauty Salon, but no store front, as the video store is actually underground down a narrow little staircase. Given its location, I was expecting a dank basement, and was pleasantly surprised to find that tiny little staircase open into a brightly lit room packed full of everything from the newest releases to Nightmare on Elm Street, on VHS, no less. They also have a pretty decent selection of previewed movies for purchase at about 9 bucks a pop, and a buy two get one free deal.

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Though I don’t imagine myself becoming a frequent visitor to the “18 and older” room, it’s there, and inexplicably, it’s also home to the Spanish “Accion” videos. Video Connoiseur had one of those rooms too, and I remember my friends and I daring each other to take a peek inside. I actually still giggled like a little kid when I saw some of those video covers – it’s almost worth a visit for the laughs – unless the rest of PoP’s readership has a more mature sense of humor than I do!

Unlike Video Connoisseur, however, Lamont Video seems to have stood the test of time. I think it’s great that in the day of Netflix and Blockbuster, a place like this still exists. If you’re not a frequent movie renter, the prices are decent and it’s about as good (or better) of a deal than a Netflix membership, and I’m pretty sure the rentals are cheaper than Blockbuster. There is no membership fee, and for 2.83 (plus tax) you can rent a new release for 2 nights, or a classic for 1 week. They do charge late fees, 95 cents per night, per movie. They’ve got a drop box outside though, and 10am to 10pm hours every day, so if you live in the ‘hood you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting your movies back in time!

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